Monday, April 16, 2018

Cessna 525 CitationJet, N525P: Fatal accident occurred April 15, 2018 in Crozet, Albemarle County, Virginia

The National Transportation Safety Board traveled to the scene of this accident.

Additional Participating Entities: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Richmond, Virginia
Textron Aviation; Wichita, Kansas
Williams International; Walled Lake, Michigan

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board

Location: Crozet, VA
Accident Number: ERA18FA127
Date & Time: 04/15/2018, 2054 EDT
Registration: N525P
Aircraft: CESSNA 525
Injuries: 1 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal

On April 15, 2018, at 2054 eastern daylight time, a Cessna 525, N525P, was destroyed after it impacted terrain near Crozet, Virginia. The private pilot was fatally injured. The flight was operated by an individual under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Night instrument meteorological conditions prevailed, and there was no flight plan filed for the flight, which departed Richmond Executive – Chesterfield County Airport (FCI), Richmond, Virginia, around 2035, and was destined for Shenandoah Valley Regional Airport (SHD), Weyers Cave, Virginia.

According to preliminary air traffic control data provided by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), a radar target identified as the accident airplane departed FCI, then at 2040 it reached a maximum altitude of about 11,500 ft mean sea level (msl). The airplane began to descend, and at 2044, the airplane leveled off around 4,300 and remained at that altitude until 2053 when it began a descending left turn until radar contact was lost at 2054.

According to a witness, he heard the "screaming of the engines" and then felt the terrain shake when the airplane impacted the ground nearby. Furthermore, he stated that the cloud ceiling was "really low," the winds were moderate, and that it was raining heavily at the time of the accident.

According to FAA records, the pilot held a private pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single-engine land, multiengine land, and instrument airplane. In addition, he had a type rating for a CE-525S. The pilot was issued a third-class medical certificate on November 30, 2016. At that time, he reported 1,900 hours total hours of flight experience, of which the 25 hours were within the previous 6 months of the medical examination.

According to FAA records, the airplane was manufactured in 1996 and issued an airworthiness certificate in July 2004. In addition, it was equipped with two Williams International FJ44-1A engines, which each produced 1,900 lbs of thrust. The most recent continuous airworthiness inspection was recorded on March 1, 2017, and at that time the airframe had accumulated 3,311.6 total hours of operation.

The 2057 recorded weather observation at Charlottesville-Albemarle Airport (CHO), Charlottesville, Virginia, which was about 13 miles to the northeast of the accident location, included wind from 020° at 4 knots, visibility 2 ½ miles, rain and mist, broken clouds at 700 ft above ground level (agl), overcast clouds at 1,500 ft agl, temperature 11° C, dew point 11° C; and an altimeter setting of 29.79 inches of mercury. In the remarks section it indicated that lightning was detected to the northeast and south of the airport.

According to Lockheed Martin Flight Services, the pilot had no contact with them or or the direct user access terminal service for the accident flight.

The airplane impacted three 40 ft trees about 15 ft prior to impacting terrain at an elevation of 1,520 ft msl. The initial impact crater was about 4 ft deep and an odor similar to Jet A fuel was noted at the accident site. The airplane was highly fragmented and all major components of the airplane were located at the accident site. The debris path fanned out from a 120° heading and the slope of the accident site was noted as a 25° incline.

All flight control cables and bell cranks observed remained attached in their appropriate locations through overstress failures.

The left engine was impact separated and located in the initial impact crater. The compressor turbine blades were impact-damaged and rotational scoring was noted on the blades. Furthermore, the turbine blade bases exhibited rotational scoring.

The right engine was impact separated and located about 60 ft beyond the initial impact location and was partially consumed by fire. The compressor fan blades exhibited rotational scoring and several blades were bent forward. In addition, the compressor turbine blade housing exhibited rotational scoring and the blades were bent the opposite direction of travel.

A Garmin 496 handheld GPS was retained and sent to the NTSB Recorders Laboratory for data download. 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: CESSNA
Registration: N525P
Model/Series: 525 UNDESIGNATED
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Instrument Conditions
Condition of Light: Night
Observation Facility, Elevation: CHO, 644 ft msl
Observation Time: 2057 EDT
Distance from Accident Site: 13 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 11°C / 11°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Thin Broken / 700 ft agl
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 4 knots, 20°
Lowest Ceiling: Broken / 700 ft agl
Visibility: 2.5 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 29.79 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: RICHMOND, VA (FCI)
Destination: Weyers Cave, VA (SHD)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: On-Ground
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude: 38.097778, -78.722500

Those who may have information that might be relevant to the National Transportation Safety Board investigation may contact them by email, and any friends and family who want to contact investigators about the accident should email

Kent Donald Carr 
January 16, 1967 - April 15, 2018

Kent Donald Carr, 51, of Staunton, VA passed away April 15, 2018.  He loved aviation and was flying home at the time.  He was born January 16, 1967 in Staunton and was the second of three sons born to Mitchell and Iris Carr.  In addition to his parents, he is survived by his brother, Todd and his wife Jorie and his nephew Mac and niece Harper Carr.  He is also survived by his beloved chocolate lab Buddy, his constant companion.  Kent was preceded in death by his older brother Scott on December 22, 2017.  He was a graduate of Robert E Lee High School and Randolph Macon College.  He worked in the family business, Augusta Lumber. 

Services will be held on Saturday April 21 at 2:00 at St John’s United Methodist Church located at 1716 N. Augusta St in Staunton.  The family will receive friends after the service.  Memorials may be made to Valley Mission, 1513 W. Beverley St., Staunton VA 24401, or a charity of your choice.

Henry Funeral Home is handling the arrangements.

STAUNTON - Word spread quickly Monday morning that a Staunton man was the pilot and lone occupant of a plane that went down Sunday night near Crozet in a fatal crash.

On Wednesday, Virginia State Police made it official as it was announced that Kent D. Carr, 51, was the pilot of the aircraft that crashed on a mountainside by Saddle Hollow near Crozet on Sunday at about 9 p.m.

According to his obituary, Carr was an avid flier and died "while flying home."

Carr once worked in his family's business, Augusta Lumber.

A graduate of Robert E. Lee High School and Randolph Macon College, he was preceded in death by his older brother, Scott M. Carr, who died in December at the age of 55. In addition to his parents, Kent Carr is survived by his brother, Todd.

Bret Ritchie, a Staunton resident and a close friend of Carr, said, "Kent was kind and gentle. He loved his dog (Buddy), he loved his family, especially his niece and nephew, and he loved life."

Multiple fire and EMT crews were at the scene Sunday night. First responders reported an "extensive debris field" around the crash, along with a fire, according to radio traffic.

The crash took place shortly after an area tornado warning was lifted. 

The cause of the crash remains under investigation, according to state police. The Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board are investigating. 

Services for Carr will be held Saturday at 2 p.m. at St John's United Methodist Church in Staunton. The family will receive friends after the service. Memorials can be made to Valley Mission, 1513 W. Beverley St., Staunton, Virginia, 24401, or another charity, according to Henry Funeral Home.

Original article can be found here ➤

ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) - Investigators with several agencies are on the scene of a deadly plane crash in Albemarle County.

Members of the Virginia State Police, National Transportation Security Board (NTSB), and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) were out at the crash site to conduct their preliminary investigation Monday, April 16.

First responders were called out to private property near Saddle Hollow Road around 9 p.m. Sunday, April 15.

A Cessna 525 CitationJet had crashed into an open area at the base of the mountain.

"The largest pieces up there were actually the two jet engines that were on the ground, and one piece of probably six-foot worth of metal. But otherwise, everything was down into small pieces," said Crozet Fire Assistant Chief Larry Devault.

Emergency crews recovered one body from the crash, and authorities do not believe anyone else had been on board the plane. Fire and rescue crews say Sunday night’s torrential downpours limited their recovery efforts.

"It was steep, wet, it was treacherous, and it just was hard getting vehicles up there. It was hard getting manpower up there," Devault said.

Several neighbors say they called 911 just minutes after the crash. They add their small community has been flooded with tragedy: first there was a deadly train crash in February, and now a deadly plane crash.

"Fear really was just making sure things on the property were safe. Nothing had happened to the house, and then thoughts of survivors, what could have happened and it was raining a good deal,” said witness Hawker Dawes.

"I think the community is concerned about what's going on. I'm sure everyone will band together and figure out how to deal with it," neighbor Elaine Clark said.

Police are working to positively identify the victim in the crash, as well as notifying next of kin.

Neighbors are offering their condolences to the pilot's family.

"I'm sure they're grief stricken, it's a horrible, horrible thing to happen and my thoughts are with them," said Dawes.

Virginia State Police announced Monday afternoon that the crash scene has been turned over to the NTSB and FAA for their official investigations into the cause of the incident.

04/16/2018 Release from Virginia State Police:

The crash scene near Saddle Hollow Road in Crozet has been turned over to the NTSB and FAA for their official investigations into the cause of the fatal plane crash.

State police are still awaiting confirmation from the Office of the Medical Examiner on the pilot's identification. Until that positive identification is made and next of kin is formally notified, state police will not be releasing the pilot's name.

At 9:03 p.m., Sunday (April 15), Virginia State Police responded to a report of a downed plane near Saddle Hollow Road in Crozet. The 1996 fixed-wing, twin-engine Cessna crashed in a remote area and one body was recovered from the wreckage. At this stage of the investigation, it has been determined that the aircraft had only one occupant.

Original article can be found here ➤

CROZET, Va. (WCAV) — The one person who was aboard a Cessna 525 CitationJet that crashed in Crozet on Sunday was killed in the crash.

Virginia State Police confirmed the body has been transported to the medical examiner's office for an autopsy and identification.

The crash happened on private property, according to state troopers.

The identity of the man has not yet been released.

On Monday, the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board began investigating the scene, along with State Police.

The Cessna 525 CitationJet crashed about 9 p.m. Sunday in Crozet.

Severe weather and tornado warnings had moved throughout the region near the plane crash. Homes were destroyed. Thousands lost power.

Gov. Ralph Northam said on Twitter that he's declared a state of emergency to help local and state agencies respond.

The National Weather Service is sending a team to Albemarle County to determine if a tornado caused the high winds.

Original article can be found here ➤


Anonymous said...

On almost a straight line from Richmond Executive to Shannondoa Valley airport

Anonymous said...

I live a short distance from the crash site in Crozet. Weather was very poor all day Saturday. I had wanted to fly my Piper from CHO to Blacksburg. Wind gusts up in the high 20s. I did not go.

Anonymous said...

Looks like he had done short flight at Richmond Executive earlier in the day according to flightaware

Anonymous said...

Strange that the flight track log at KFCI Sunday morning were reported by Potomac TRACON and Washington Center at the 3-4000 ft altitudes, but no tracks from KFCI to the accident site that evening

Anonymous said...

Severe TRWs and a tornado reported in area at the time.

Anonymous said...

My guess is he was repositioning the plane vfr without an assigned code ... Low altitude under wx and night ... RIP

Anonymous said...

Plane is based in SHD. Pilot was practicing or taking a check ride in Richmond. Returning to SHD VFR in worsening weather. Tragic.

Anonymous said...

The weather around the site was solid IFR at the time with heavy rain and thunderstorms that had just passed. I'm a long time turbine pilot and flying a jet VFR in that weather was just plain, well, let's just say I would never have even considered it.

Anonymous said...

Too much airplane, too much money, too little experience/judgement/common sense. If you can afford a Citation, you can afford a qualified safety pilot in the right seat.